At Wednesday morning Writing with Rox, I asked the group to respond to the question, “What does community mean to you?” We wrote for five minutes, then shared our responses. Community is drenched in meaning. Read on.
Talking for hours over cups of tea. Support. Warmth. Safety.
~Zoë Josephine (accompanied by a hand-drawn heart around a heart around a heart etc.)
Showing up at a group that I am new to and being welcomed and respected. People I meet only once on a street who offer to hold a door open or help me in other ways-strangers.
I remember a car that pulled over in front of my house and asked if they needed to call “911” as my mother had fallen and I was bending over her…
People who know how to pronounce my name.
People who know each other’s problems, try to help but are not too intrusive.
People with a variety of outlooks on life who do not have to convince others their own opinion is the right one.
People who come together to listen to each other, to try to understand each other, and work together when that seems to be called for.
People who can play and laugh together as well as mourn and share their sadness and worries.
Community means we experience one another enough to be irritated by our eccentricities. And yet these same eccentricities endear us to each other. We are patient with any attempt to communicate and look past what is written to what is meant.
Community is (and began) sitting beneath the big sunny apple trees and Camp Trinity in NoCal singing folk songs like Blowin’ in the Wind, Fire and Rain, Froggy went a courtin’…
As it is now, still singing together, cuddling for warmth because you know you are loved and accepted unconditionally and safe. Writing together, remembering/sharing childhood memories, asking for help and finding it, never having to think you can’t ask for help, seeing and being seen, drumming kirtan, knowing its safe to eat Fun Dip with writing community. Suddenly realizing a roomful of strangers are all familiar, recognized as friends.
~Rox Sadovsky (writingwithrox.blogspot.com)
I notice that something happens when I write with others, an important something that goes a long way towards building community. We all get a turn. We all get a voice, a chance to speak when no one else is speaking. We get to hear what each of us has to say without being interrupted. Had we simply started talking about what community means to us, I think we would have missed the fullness of expression that comes with writing first, then sharing and listening one at a time.
I’ve been with this writing group for about a year and the depth, clarity, and wisdom of this community never fails to inspire me.